14 BSF personnel quarantined in Chhattisgarh

New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) Fourteen Border Security Force (BSF) jawans have been quarantined in Chhattisgarh for suspected coronavirus infection after they returned from Agra, officials said on Sunday.

Their samples have been sent for testing and the reports are awaited, a senior official said.

The troops, onboard a truck of the force, had reached Bhilai town in the central Indian state on Saturday after staying at a police line in Agra for 20 days.

'As per information, the cook of the local police in the Agra camp has been found positive for COVID-19 infection,' the official said.

All the 14 personnel were tested upon their arrival and subsequently two of them sent to an isolation facility in Durg district, while the rest quarantined at a centre of the Bhilai Steel Plant, he said.

Officials said the police cook could have passed on the infection to the BSF troops, who are deployed in the anti-Naxal operations grid of Chhattisgarh.

They also raised concerns over the movement of the troops during the lockdown period and said all such activities have been strictly banned by the force headquarters. Such isolated instances may lead to serious consequences in the paramilitary, they said.

BSF Director General (DG) S S Deswal had recently issued a stern warning to his commanders and personnel, saying strict action will be taken if any of them violates the COVID-19 medical protocols.  The BSF is primarily tasked to guard Indian borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh apart from rendering a variety of duties in the internal security domain of the country.

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